Monument honors former site of Sunnyside Garden Arena

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THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison
THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

A plaque was dedicated at the former site of the Sunnyside Garden Arena.

Where once stood a beacon of the sweet science a mecca of fast food sits in its stead.

Boxing fans, officials and legends gathered outside a Wendy’s along Queens Boulevard to dedicate a monument at the former site of the Sunnyside Garden Arena.

Originally built as a tennis club in the 1920s, the arena was sold in 1945 and turned into an arena that staged boxing matches as well as wrestling, roller derby and kick-boxing until it was shut down in 1977.

Emile Griffith and Gerry Cooney are among the boxers that fought at the 2,000-seat arena, as well as the actor Tony Danza.

The Sunnyside arena was often used as a stepping stone by New York area fighters before they moved on to larger venues — like Madison Square Garden.

“Ring 8 was proud to remember Sunnyside Garden Arena in this fashion and also honor the many boxers who fought there as professionals or amateurs,” said Ring 8 president Bob Duffy. “Sunnyside Garden Arena will never be forgotten.”

The plaque, which is visible to passers-by, reads, “This monument is in honor and dedicated to those men who fought in the amateurs and professional bouts.”